A no-fear approach to technology helps vault Jenice Pry’s facilities to the top of her market.
Company Affordable Self-Storage
Owner Jenice Pry
Locations Sioux City and Sergeant Blu, Iowa
Profile Jenice Pry purchased her first self-storage facility in 2002 and added two additional Affordable Self-Storage locations over the years. Affordable Self-Storage now has three sites in Sioux City and Sergeant Blu, Iowa, offering 24-hour access, onsite offices, online reservations and bill payments, vehicle storage, climate controlled and outdoor storage plus boat and RV spaces.
When Jenice Pry bought her first facility 16 years ago, she immediately began looking for another handwritten ledger book to manage the business. This new book would serve to continue the same process of writing and keeping accounts and records in a ledger as the previous owners had done. However, it didn’t take too long to realize there must be a better way to keep track of tenants, and it was a matter of finding the right management software to move away from the time-consuming, manual process. Finding the best management software to fit her needs – Jenice’s first hurdle – was followed by a different but closely related challenge that came up soon afterwards: how to best utilize technology to connect with consumers online. When online rentals started to become available in the industry, Pry realized she needed to take advantage of technology in order to market her stores to consumers. It was important to quickly get involved in digital marketing and focus on the future. An early adopter by nature, Pry was eager to be on the leading edge of this new exciting trend and did not hesitate to ensure her store was the first one to move forward in the digital marketing landscape. She wanted to get a website built.
“We wanted to stay on top, and I also knew that self-storage ownership was going to be a lifetime commitment, so we wanted to make the right investment and provide something great for our customers,” explained Pry.
There were some workflows to consider as well. Pry is not in the office regularly and her managers handle much of the day-to-day facility operations. If any issues came up, the manager would need to rely on the software’s tech support. She knew whatever solutions she invested in would require extreme reliability with responsive and helpful customer support.
Pry asked others in the self-storage industry what software they used to manage their business and problems they encountered. Word-of-mouth recommendations played a large role in choosing SiteLink Self-Storage Management software. After adopting SiteLink software, and about the time when Jenice’s idea for a strong digital presence took root, a solution to Jenice’s other hurdle surfaced quite by surprise. The Storage Group, an integrated partner with SiteLink who delivers best-in-class website and marketing services, called and offered the exact services she knew would keep her at the forefront of the digital marketing landscape, and she didn’t hesitate.
“This was a long-term investment for me, so I was open to new ideas,” said Pry. “The phone call came at the right time. Back then, not many competitors had websites, and many of us were still paying big bucks to advertise in the phone book; we were the first out there with a website in our market.”
She knew her facility was headed in the right direction with digital advertising. Integrating with SiteLink was quick and easy, and she feels great customer support is one of the major benefits. Other top benefits are the reliability, confidence in well-built software, and knowledge that issues will be resolved almost immediately.
Pry is very pleased with the results on both fronts. She knows she can trust The Storage Group and SiteLink because both companies are customer-focused. The Storage Group’s strategy helped Pry’s facility excel online through organic and paid efforts.
“It’s so nice to have hired a company that I can completely trust,” she noted. “I have never had an issue with The Storage Group; someone is taking care of my websites, and that’s what I pay them for so I can sleep easy at night!”
SiteLink’s robust API connection allows for real-time updates of inventory and pricing without staff having to manually update or monitor the website. SiteLink’s support staff often remotely logs into an operator’s computer in order to fix a problem while the operator watches, learns and can ask further questions. Plus, hand-written invoices are a thing of the past, which saves time and ensures accuracy.
“A lot of my success is due to the software that I invest in,” continued Pry. “With SiteLink, it’s very time efficient because we don’t have to process invoices. Everything all around and in the program saves us valuable time.”
She also doesn’t have to worry about getting calls from her manager saying they can’t get in touch with tech support. Both companies take care of their customers.
“If I call The Storage Group, I know I will get a call back immediately and they will take care of my concerns. I don’t have to spend my day waiting. SiteLink and The Storage Group are a perfect match, and not everyone is.”
Pry is thrilled The Storage Group and SiteLink software work so well together. The Storage Group’s online rental tool, ClickandStorⓇ, works as a Progressive Web App to create a faster, easier, all-encompassing user experience for tenants. This technology seamlessly integrates with SiteLink® Web Edition property management software, making the transformation process hassle-free for facility owners like Pry. SiteLink continuously makes enhancements to the API to allow for innovations in payment collections, reservations and online move-ins. The entirety of the business working together helps keep customer satisfaction at a high level.
“We are very customer-focused ourselves,” said Pry, “and we see customer satisfaction daily, so it may be because everything works so well together. Customers are not struggling with payments on the website or anything like that so I’m confident this integration has a huge impact on customer satisfaction.”
With everything running so smoothing, Jenice Pry does not anticipate making any changes to her management software and marketing providers. However, she would be very
excited to learn about any new technologies either company has to offer.
“Of course, if something new and interesting comes along, we’re willing to try it,” she concludes.